England Looks Ahead to Euro 2012

Ok, so today felt like a slow football day. After watching the Cisse goals like 50 times each, I decided I needed something better to do, and work simply wasnt an option… so I decided to focus a little on the upcoming EURO, especially with Woy being appointed manager of England (more on that another time).

The obvious question for Roy Hodgson, as it was for Fabio Capello ahead of the World Cup 2 summers ago, WHO will be in the squad? …more importantly who should be on the pitch? After all, Joe Cole and Peter Crouch were in the squads last time but neither saw more than 20 minutes of action.

No-brainers:

Joe Hart will try and avoid emulating Robert Green’s performance from 2010

GK – Joe Hart- England’s best Keeper by far
CB – John Terry- may not wear the armband, but could be England’s key veteran depending on other lineup decisions
CDM – Scott Parker – without Wilshere, there’s nobody else for this job
ST – Wayne Rooney – has had a great 2012, will be bent on proving his worth after missing the first two games of the competition

Then I came across several really interesting battles at certain positions:

RB – Glen Johnson vs Micah Richards vs Kyle Walker… this might be the biggest competition on the team. Richards seems like the best actual defender out of the three

CB – Rio Ferdinand vs Ledley King… both of these guys should be taken out back with a shotgun Old Yeller-style. How about they bring up a guy like Joleon Lescott or Phil Jagielka to pair with Terry

LB– Ashley Cole vs Leighton Baines… not only do I think Baines deserves a shot, I think he’s a better offensive threat… plus, no more questions over who’s taking free kicks 12 yards outside the box

Could Cashley lose the spot he’s had a stranglehold on for so long?

CM – Frank Lampard vs Steven Gerrard… ahh the classic “do I hafta?” realistically neither of these guys, but if I have to choose one, it’s Gerrard, seems like he’s still got a goal or two left in him, while more prone to join in on the breakout too

LM – James Milner vs Ashley Young vs Stewart Downing… I have to go Young here mainly because he’s shown he can score goals at the international level this year. Milner rots on the bench most weeks at City, and Downings seen a lot of the pine as well

RM – Theo Walcott vs Aaron Lennon… these are like the same player, and put-together they’re still not as good as a Robben or Hazard. Roy should find a way to squeeze their youth out somehow and revive Stevie G’s legs

Then we come to the Forward position, the following guys are essentially competing for 2 spots in games 1&2, and then just one spot when Rooney’s suspension ends. Here’s the list which I’ve broken down into two sections

If you see this man, do NOT let him put on an England kit under any circumstances

Duds
Jermaine Defoe – I’m fine with him on the team… if he can grow like 6 inches by June
Emile Heskey – don’t even get me started, shouldn’t be allowed into Poland or the Ukraine this summer, even as a spectator
Darren Bent– this guy hasn’t played a competitive game since February… OUT
Danny Welbeck– just not proven, I know Michael Owen was a monster for England when he was given the chance at that age, but Welbeck is NOT the second coming of Michael Owen
Frazier Campbell– even less proven than Welbeck
Bobby Zamora– has like one or two good games a season, he’s old too.
Gabby Agbonlahor– the fact he’s even in this discussion is disturbing. How many crappy forward does Aston Villa employ?

Studs
Peter Crouch– boasts a great goalscoring record internationally, 22 goals in 42 Caps… also gives England height, which they seriously lack up front
Andy Carroll– that’s right you heard me, for the very reason I put Crouch in there too,  size!
Daniel Sturridge– would be a great pit bull to fill in #2 role for the games Rooney misses. Was a beast at the U-17 through U-21 Euros

Crouch was denied much of an opportunity to do the robot in South Africa

Overall, there are plenty of choices at multiple positions, and who even knows if there is a right combination that could achieve success at the upcoming EUROs. Should Hodgson rock the boat and field a much changed (and inexperienced) line-up when the Three Lions face off against France? What’s your take on England’s squad options for this upcoming summer?

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